Inspirational Keynotes

Journey to Excellence brings together leadership keynotes from global organisations to share experiences, lessons learned and best practice in Operational Excellence.



Writer, Broadcaster and Thought Leader


Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed is a leading expert in high performance. He has written five bestselling books on the subject of mindset and high-performance, including “Bounce”, “Black Box Thinking” and “Rebel Ideas”.

At Journey to Excellence 2020 he will share how leading organisations are creating a real and lasting high-performance culture for innovation and continuous improvement. He will uncover the best-kept secrets of the world’s most successful teams, bringing insights from psychology, anthropology and data science, whilst drawing on a dazzling range of intriguing case-studies.

He’ll demonstrate how a positive learning culture which reduces or eliminates the fear of failure by confronting and learning from it can dramatically increase learner motivation and the willingness to try new things.

An inspirational keynote for leaders who are looking to create their own culture of performance excellence through continuous learning and growth.

Matthew is a multi-award-winning journalist for The Times and a regularly contributor on Sky, CNN and the BBC. He is also a former England number one table tennis player, representing his country at two Olympic Games and is a three times Commonwealth Champion.

Matthew Syed’s Black Box Thinking

“It highlights the need for a growth mindset in life…It advocates for changing attitudes towards failure and understanding that the only way we learn is by trying things and altering our behaviour based on the results.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group

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Executive Director at Illinois Liquor Control Commission


Director, State of Illinois, USA

Director Enyia was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to lead the Illinois Liquor Control Commission in March of 2018.  He oversees all policy, operations, legislative, and intergovernmental initiatives of the Commission.

Prior to servings as Executive Director at ILCC, Director Enyia served as Chief Operating Officer for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, which manages the administrative operations of the State of Illinois. More recently he served as the Associate Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue primarily focusing on strategic planning, process improvements, data analytics, liquor policy, and management training.

Director Enyia’s efforts were integral in over $200 million in tax fraud prevention over 3 years through use of data analytics, over $1 million in annual cost savings, a 30% increase in employee morale, and an increase in employee productivity equivalent to 1 week of work for 400 employees of the Department of Revenue. Most recently, he successfully led the ILCC’s seamless separation from the Department of Revenue to become a newly formed independent agency.

Director Enyia grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago. He obtained his undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Political Science, received a Harvard Senior Executives in State and Local Government certification is a certified Lean 6 Sigma practitioner.

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Director of Asset Management & Continuous Improvement


Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

John joined the RAF as an engineering officer and spent the first part of his career leading maintenance teams aircraft worldwide and was awarded an MBE for the development of Lean transformation across the aircraft maintenance.

John joined Sellafield Ltd in 2009 and was operating unit head for the Sellafield MOx Fuel Plant and then the Site’s program lead for the integrated change program instilling lean manufacturing techniques across the Sellafield site and its processes.

He joined United Utilities in 2014 as Head of Operational Engineering providing ‘pervasive’ engineering support direct to the field operations and has applied his understanding of maintenance and lean operations to the production of water/waste water and improving the resilience and reliability of UU systems and machines and the into-service delivery of new assets.

John is now the Director of Asset Management and Continuous Improvement for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with the aim of driving the One NDA strategy to improve estate wide asset management and equipment performance.


Lean 6 Sigma practitioner.

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Really useful hearing about other companies' experiences in implementing Lean and CI – especially the difficulties they have! Reassuring that we can share and learn from similar difficulties – make it three days!

Continuous Improvement ManagerSafestyle UK Plc